Radiator Hazard

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It’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

For some strange reason, people who don’t overclock actually heat the room their computer is in. Talk about botched priorities!

Unlike normal people like us who use radiators to cool things down, they use radiators to heat rooms up.

This is all perverse enough, but to add injury to insult, they use radiators in the worst possible way.

Hard as it is to believe, rather than installing a nice all-copper ceiling and putting the radiator on top of that, they take an iron radiator without even a heat speader and stick it in a corner of a room. Then it proceeds to heat the floor, right where they put their computer!

After all that, then they have the nerve to complain complain that their computer freezes on them! My God, what self-respecting computer wouldn’t after being abused like that?

Seriously . . .

If you’ve built any computers for friends in the last couple years, especially if they were Athlon systems, and you hear about computer freezes and the like, do yourself a favor.

When you head over there, first check to see how hot the CPU is getting. If it has the hots, check to see how warm it is down where the computer is.

Odds are, it’s pretty warm down there.

What To Do

If there’s an obviously cooler place to put the computer, do so.

In all likelihood, this is not an option either because the room is stifling, or the computer can’t be put in the cool spot due to too little space or too much dedication to interior decoration by the boss in the house.

Should that be the case, the instant fix is to just slow the computer down. Underclock it if you have to. If they’re typical, they’ll probably not even notice.

If money is a big issue, you could indefinitely lower the speed in the fall and raise it in the spring.

It’ll work, but it’s hardly an elegant solution.

Unless you installed the worst piece of crap cooler to begin with, odds are getting a better cooler isn’t going to help much. It’s just like fanning yourself when the air temperature resembles your body temperature. It just doesn’t help much.

This Looks Like A Job For A $50 Processor!

A much better long-term solution for a few dollars more is to simply replace the processor. This is an especially good idea if a TBird is in there.

First check to see what processors are supported by the motherboard, then go with a nice cheap low-end processor.

Go as far as your motherboard will let you. If your motherboard support page says it supports AthlonXPs up to 1800 or 1900 or 2100, a Palomino is your upgrade option.

If it says it will support a 2200+, you can go with a low-speed TBredA. If it says it will support a 2400+, you can use a TBredB.

Considering that any of these options will likely provide the same or a bit more speed while generating appreciably less heat now (and some more overclocking when the room isn’t so hot if you like), that’s not bad for around $50.

It’s Not Just For Heat

Do those you built computers for whine about the whine?

Is that Delta 7K about 4K too much Delta?

Well, this works here, too. Buy a boxed set and run it at spec, and you can cut down on both the heat AND the noise in one fell swoop (might not be too bad an idea for current TBird overclockers, either).

Hand-Me-Downing An Upgrade

You can really make a $50 investment pay off big if you’ve built a few systems. Just take the processor you’re replacing and pass it down the food chain.

For instance, I put a 1700+ TBredA in one system to replace a 1600+ Palomino, and the Palomino is going to go into a TBird system. Two upgrades for the price of one!

Solve The Problem

Back when you built those systems, you and/or the owner wanted performance and price. You swallowed the heat and noise because you had no other choice.

Now the priority is heat and/or noise. It works well enough, you just could do without the heat wave and sonic boom.

Use the current technology to solve the current problem.

Email Ed

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